Entertainment writer. Loves games, movies, and comics. Also loves talking in the third person
The Nintendo 64 is one of the most influential Nintendo consoles of all time. With great games like Super Smash Bros, Super Mario 64, and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the Nintendo 64 and its catalog still stand the test of time.
With so many incredible titles, the question often comes up: Which is the best Nintendo 64 game? To help answer that question, here is the list of the best N64 games of all time ranked by sales.
There were plenty of great Nintendo 64 games that were platformers, and Banjo-Kazooie stood out amongst them. The game was developed by Rare, the same studio responsible for the Donkey Kong Country series, Goldeneye 007, and Diddy Kong Racing.
Banjo-Kazooie saw the titular characters work together as they try to save Banjo’s sister after she was kidnapped by the witch, Gruntilda.
Rare had hit after hit, and Banjo-Kazooie wasn’t an exception, the game would go on to sell 3.5 million copies. The game would also spawn a franchise with more sequels and spin-offs being made, with the last Banjo-Kazooie game being released in 2008.
However, the characters would also appear in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as DLC characters, along with music from the series, and a stage based on the series as well.
Pokemon has had a ton of great games throughout its years, including a game that focused on photography. Pokemon Snap, released in 1999, saw players ride a vehicle as they took pictures of various Pokemon for Professor Oak. Timing is everything in this game as Pokemon can run away before you get the perfect shot, so you have to be quick with your camera.
Pokemon Snap would once again be a hit for the Pokemon franchise, with 3.6 million copies being sold. The game would also spawn a sequel that was released just this year, New Pokemon Snap for the Nintendo Switch.
Pokemon Snap wouldn’t be the only Pokemon spin-off on the Nintendo 64, with Hey You, Pikachu! and Pokemon Puzzle League also being released for the console.
Everyone’s favorite pilot, Fox McCloud, would once again make an appearance in a Nintendo console, with StarFox 64 releasing in 1997 for the Nintendo 64.
The game follows Fox and the Star Fox team as they try to take down Andross, the being who killed Fox’s father. The player controls the Arwing spaceship as they take on enemies in their pursuit of Andross.
Nintendo 64 owners would fall in love with Star Fox 64, with 4 million copies being sold. Star Fox 64 3D, a remake of Star Fox 64 would be released years later for the Nintendo 3DS.
Most recently, Star Fox 2 was released in 2017 for the Super NES Classic Edition, 21 years after it was completed. Who knows what the future holds for Fox, but we’re excited to see what’s next.
A year before Banjo-Kazooie, Rare would release Diddy Kong Racing to the world. The story follows Diddy Kong and his friends as they try to stop Wizpig as he tries to take over their island.
Unlike another racing Nintendo 64 game, Diddy Kong Racing had different vehicles the player could drive; this included a car, a hovercraft, and an airplane. Besides Diddy Kong, other notable characters included Banjo and Conker.
People couldn’t get enough of Diddy Kong Racing, and the game would go on to sell 4.5 million copies. Diddy Kong and his friends would have one more adventure, with Diddy Kong Racing being re-released for the Nintendo DS. Besides that, no sequels have been made for this game, but that doesn’t mean we’re not optimistic.
Speaking of Rare and Diddy Kong, who could’ve forgotten this incredible game? Donkey Kong 64 saw the titular character save his friends after they were kidnapped by King K. Rool.
Like other Nintendo 64 games such as Banjo-Kazooie and Super Mario 64, Donkey Kong was a platformer that emphasized finding items to progress through the story. The more the player progresses through the story, the more playable characters they can unlock.
Donkey Kong Country 64 sold an astounding 5.2 million copies and would prove to be another success for Rare. With the different playable characters with different abilities, the many puzzles, and the cool bosses, it’s not a surprise many people bought this title. Even with its great sales number, it still wouldn’t be Rare’s best-selling Nintendo 64 game.
Even now, it’s still hard to wrap the Super Smash Bros. premise in your head, it’s crazy to think that Nintendo greenlit a video game where their most iconic characters would fight each other.
However, we’re glad they did because Super Smash Bros. is fantastic; seeing characters from different franchises come together and beat each other up is surreal. Some of the franchises that were represented in this title include Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Pokemon.
It seems that the premise interested many Nintendo fans, with the game selling 5.5 million copies. The game was so successful it spawned multiple sequels, each bigger than the last, and the roster would start including non-Nintendo characters.
Pac-Man, Sonic, Ryu, Kazuya, and Banjo-Kazooie are just some of the crossover characters the most recent Super Smash Bros. game includes.
It seems as if each Nintendo console has an incredible Zelda game to go along with it, and the same can be said for the Nintendo 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
Released in 1998, this game sees Link try to stop Ganondorf. The game emphasizes time travel, with players able to play young Link or adult Link, depending on what they need to do.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time would sell an incredible 7.6 million copies, and continued Zelda’s track record of releasing great game after great game.
A trend that is continuing to this day, with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel looking just as fun and stunning as its predecessors.
In this modern time, it seems that there are dozens of shooter games to have fun with your friends. But during the time of the Nintendo 64, there was only one clear choice to make, and it was GoldenEye 007.
The game had a multiplayer mode where players could play against each other in a deathmatch. There was nothing more fun than sitting in front of the TV trying to shoot your friends in the face.
It’s clear the entire world thought it was fun when you look at its sales number. 8 million copies of GoldenEye 007 were sold, making it the best shooter game sold for the Nintendo 64.
There’s also an argument to be made that it’s the best video game adaption of a film and that it’s one of the most influential shooter games.
On the topic of fun couch games, Mario Kart 64 was also a party favorite. Driving through various areas in the Mushroom Kingdom as your favorite Mario characters is a blast.
The wacky items available to help you or to hurt your opponents make the game fun, except when you keep getting smacked by the blue shell.
Even today, Mario Kart still manages to be the go-to game when you’re looking for a good time with friends, and it seems it was the same way back then with 9.8 million copies being sold.
Many more Mario Kart games have been released, and Mario Kart 64 is still just as fun as the rest of them.
When you think of the Nintendo 64, there are plenty of games that can come to your mind, but it’s a guarantee that one of them is Super Mario 64.
The game has stood the test of time and it’s still visually stunning, engaging, and overall fun. The game follows Mario as he tries to rescue Princess Peach from the claws of Bowser by collecting stars that are within Princess Peach’s castle.
Super Mario 64 is the best-selling Nintendo 64 game of all time, with 11.8 million copies sold worldwide. The game is still being played today, with it recently being released as a pack, along with Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy. On top of that, fans are still speedrunning the game, trying to get the world record for the fastest completion time.
This list is a who’s who of the best N64 games and we’re still nostalgic for all of them. The Nintendo 64 is still a great console to play, and besides the games on this list, there are plenty of other fantastic Nintendo 64 games out there.
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